In Memory of David Kollitz

David Bruce Kollitz, 83, of Hudson, Wisconsin, died on December 31, 2020 of complications from diabetes and lymphoma. The eldest child of Karl Wilhelm Kollitz and Clarisse Jeanette (Travillion) Kollitz, David was proud to have grown up in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, where he ran track and played hockey and the trumpet (among other activities), graduating from high school in 1955. From there he moved to Minneapolis to attend the University of Minnesota, where he was a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity and delivered prescriptions for a local pharmacy. David paused his studies and joined the U.S. Navy in early 1959, shortly after meeting the love of his life, Rozanne Peterson, in 1958. In the Navy, David became a licensed pilot, training primarily on the P5M Marlin in Corpus Christi, TX and Pensacola, FL before settling in Coronado, CA. David and Rozanne were married in El Centro, California in 1960 and welcomed their first child, daughter Kristen Jane, in 1961, while living on the Navy base in Coronado. The family returned to Minnesota in 1963 and David graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1964 with a bachelor’s degree in business.

After a brief time at Prudential Insurance Company, David began flying professionally for Northwest Orient Airlines in 1965 and flew out of their headquarters in Bloomington, Minnesota. Son Jon David and daughter Karyn Anne were born in 1966 and 1968, respectively. David was diagnosed with Type I diabetes in 1972, and after becoming insulin-dependent shortly thereafter, was grounded from flying as Captain of his beloved 727. He returned to the University of Minnesota, earning his MBA in 1974. He then began his career as a Certified Public Accountant with Anderson and Sieberlich (McGladrey Hendrickson and Company) in Stillwater, MN and the family moved to Hudson, WI in 1977. David eventually started his own practice in Lake Elmo, MN in 1985 and Rozanne often could be found helping at the office, especially during tax season. Daughter Karyn (Wilgren) joined as a partner and the firm became Kollitz and Wilgren, Ltd. in 2002. David retired in 2009 at the age of 72 and Karyn is still involved in this business today.   

Family life, first raising their own children, then as grandparents in the early 1990’s, was a great source of joy for David and Rozanne. Tragically, that was challenged by the sudden illness and death of Rozanne in 1997. As Dave’s group of grandchildren grew larger, his love and appreciation for each of them deepened and sustained him in his later years. He was always very involved in each of their lives, and was kept very busy attending all of their musical and athletic events. The Kollitz grandchildren (and children) have learned numerous life-lessons from their tough, humble grandfather, and for that they are very grateful.

In addition to his wife Rozanne, David Kollitz is predeceased by sister Jane A. Kollitz, parents Clarisse J. and Karl W. Kollitz, and survived by sister Kay E. Grinnell (Paul), brother Charles W. (Mary Jo) Kollitz, daughters Kristen Gillingham (Todd) and Karyn Wilgren (Randy Dopkins), son Jon Adams-Kollitz (Sarah) and grandchildren Benjamin, David & Jacob Gillingham, Jon & Anna Wilgren and Grace Adams-Kollitz.

The Kollitz family wishes to thank Dr. Bruce A. Peterson, who for many years, David entrusted to “captain the ship.” A private burial will be held in the spring. David was always quietly very generous to those in need, especially children; memorials in memory of David B. Kollitz may be sent to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

 

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    • David was such a kind man. A friend to my dad Niel Sr. and was with him in the early and great days of Northwest Airlines. As well a service member of the Navy, like my dad, for which I am grateful.

      David service my family well with his accounting expertise and friendship through the year with many business’ and hundreds of tax returns.

      I am happy to have known David through my parents during my youth and to have his wisdom as a young business person from the mid 80s moving forward and to this day entrust all of my accounting to work to the firm he started.

      David was wonderful to deal with and will be missed.